Jolly Cookathon: green bean and fennel salad

Heard about the Jolly Cookathon? It’s our latest community challenge, in celebration of eating together. Entries close on 20 November, get all the details and join in, jolly friend.

Bertus Basson, a down to earth guy and former owner of a rather rockstar Mohawk, is the partner in cuisine of Craig Cormack, at the world-renouned restaurant, Overture. This eat out spot is a firm favourite amongst foodies in the know, boasting panoramic vistas of Table Mountain as seen from the Hidden Valley wine farm. His cooking style is fantastically unassuming and full of easy-going flavour. Try his green bean and fennel salad for a light and fragrant vegetarian dish.


500g fresh green beans
2 fennel bulbs
1 red onion
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
Lemon juice
Sugar (optional)


Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Drop in the whole beans and cook for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge into a bowl of iced water. When cool, dry and split the beans. Set aside.

Slice the fennel and red onion as finely as possible (a mandolin slicer is ideal for this). Combine with the beans and transfer to a serving dish.

Make a vinaigrette by using a 3:1 ratio of olive oil to balsamic vinegar. Whisk to emulsify. Season well, add lemon juice to taste and a sprinkling of sugar if necessary.

Drizzle over the salad and use your hands to toss. This will ensure that everything is coated evenly.

Serves 4